Warhawk Invitational brings competitive DIII schools

Ross Guyette, Assistant Sports Editor

This past Saturday the Warhawks hosted the 49th Annual Warhawk Invitational Tennis Tournament at Whitewater’s Wangerin Courts. Division III Schools from across Wisconsin as well as Illinois and Iowa were in attendance. This Tennis tournament serves as a preseason measuring stick for teams trying to figure out what they have in their crop of talent. The event scheduled for 9 hours allowed for fans and coaches alike to enjoy viewing players in 1 on 1 matches as well as doubles.

The competition was friendly, but that does not indicate that it will be easy for the Women’s Tennis Competitors. As games ramped up, it was hard to keep track of all that was going on as there were 12 games running at a time throughout the day. Although this was considered preseason, fans poured in throughout the contest and the air was filled with chants, hoping to see their own teams come out on top.

Those who were most pleased about the events that took place was Coach Frank Barnes, Whitewater’s Head Tennis Coach. Barnes was quick to talk about turning over a new leaf and discovering what makes this new team click, “We lost some really good seniors last year, we had some big shoes to fill. I have realized we have a very solid, deep core close to their ability, these challenging matches really sharpen them up.”

Coach Barnes was adamant on not commenting on how this team differs from the last, which draws praise as giving this team a fair shot at making their own legacy is all a team can ask for.

As the matches piled up, an interview with Junior Warhawk Paige Nierman helped clear the air on the Warhawks mission within the tournament, “I know our team is really deep. There is a lot of freshmen in our lineup and I am excited for all of them to experience a difficult tournament. Ultimately, we all wanted to get to the finals of our bracket and a lot of us did end up meeting our goal, which is good.” It is always nice to see our fellow Warhawks achieving their goals no matter what the stage may be, and school pride is not lacking this year so far.

As to what this tournament offers to opposing teams arriving to campus, Paige Madara, of Grinnell College had this to say, “This was my first chance to see what our freshmen had to offer while also looking at those I have coached prior and saw how they have been able to progress. We have been training for the last 10 days against each other, so it is super nice to get some new competition. We always get some great competition when we come out and play here.”

With the conference season just around the corner for all of the teams who participated, the goal is to get better and represent their schools, something as a fan could be felt throughout the exhibition.